The Henley Art & Craft Guild Spring exhibition is on at the Old Fire Station Gallery until 2 May and is Venue 1 on the Henley Arts Trail this bank holiday weekend with an amazing array of artwork.
The Molley Staley Award for the best in the exhibition, judged by Shelagh Casebourne was this year won by John Griffith-Jones for his beautiful ‘Blue Bowl’. Shelagh said, “I was struck by the exquisite form and detail of John’s piece. The shape of the gently swelling bowl is deeply satisfying and the translucent aqua and deep blue glazes, merging at the beautiful scalloped and pierced rim, serve to enhance the perfect form. It was an immediate winner for me.”
New artists exhibiting for the first time are Claire Higgins who is exhibiting her pottery and Kasha Lunt her wildlife illustrations.
Dr Claire’s day job is Reader and runs a research laboratory in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. Claire said, “I love my job but pottery is my hobby that enables me to stay balanced and forget about deadlines, at least for the time I’m on the wheel. I first learnt how to throw (pots) about 12 years ago when I took an evening pottery class. We learnt hand-building techniques as well although I’ve always favoured throwing and the symmetry of the pots which are produced in this manner. When my husband and I moved to Henley in 2016 I couldn’t find a pottery class nearby and so ventured out and decided to get a kiln and wheel of my own, creating a studio at home.”
Kasha studied art in Sussex where she was brought up on a smallholding at the foot of the South Downs surrounded by animals. Kasha said, “My work is inspired by nature and the animals in it especially horses, I love watching them playing and then draw, draw, draw. I like to capture an unusual pose or spark trying to create something that is alive on paper.” Kasha’s work is created with coloured pencil, ink and acrylic on somerset paper.
Shelagh was also so taken with one of the pictures exhibited and asked if it could be nominated as “Commended”. This was Eileen Pinkachevski’s ‘Seeing and not seeing the light’. Shelagh added, “Eileen’s work drew me in with its narrative. I like to be drawn in and made to think about what I’m seeing! The title was also intriguing, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the titling of artwork recently – this is a good example of the name of the piece being an essential element of the work as a whole. The quality of line in the piece was particularly striking.”
Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas visited the exhibition on Friday. She said, “I’m amazed by the tremendous amount of talented people who live in our neighbourhood”.